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DOJ Watchdog Issues Report Finding Sanctuary Cities, States Illegal

The Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) waited almost two months to release a report that finds that several jurisdictions are violating the law because of their sanctuary jurisdiction policies. “The Obama Administration,” says the chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and The National Interest, “has a plain duty to cut off law enforcement funds to any jurisdiction that violates this responsibility to ensure the deportation of criminal aliens.”

The public release of the report came after a vote on key legislation dealing with sanctuary jurisdictions.

“After a two-month delay, the Department of Justice’s Inspector General, its internal watchdog, has published a memorandum finding that the practices of sanctuary jurisdictions violate federal law. This opinion must bring an end to the excuses proffered by numerous Democratic leaders to defend the extreme and dangerous practices of sanctuary jurisdictions,” said U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) who serves as chairman of the subcommittee.

The Inspector General issued the memorandum on May 31st but it was posted to the oig.justice.gov website on July 28th. The memorandum was issued to the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs and reported that there were large states and localities whose operation of sanctuary jurisdiction policies violate federal law. These jurisdictions are receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in federal grant funds. These jurisdictions included Cook County, Illinois; New York; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and the State of California.

“It is particularly frustrating that this memorandum was initially wrongfully marked as being ‘Law Enforcement Sensitive,’ and therefore not made available to the public. Notably, this memorandum was dated prior to a key Senate vote on Senator Toomey’s sanctuary jurisdiction legislation just a few weeks ago – legislation that would have ended this dangerous practice. Only two Democrats supported the legislation, all while this memorandum that makes clear the illegality of these policies was withheld from the public discourse,” the senator says in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas.

The senator from Alabama called the Inspector General’s decision “sound,” and stated that the memorandum “firmly settles the question.”

“It is a simple fact that aliens lawfully here, and of course those unlawfully here, must be deported promptly upon their conviction for criminal offenses. Failure to do so places whole communities at risk, especially immigrant communities in those sanctuary jurisdictions. Yet the Obama Administration has been totally ineffective in confronting these policies that dramatically undermine the enforcement of our immigration laws. Too often, we have heard comments such as ‘sanctuary cities have a place in America’ to justify this unjustifiable practice. The Obama Administration has a plain duty to cut off law enforcement funds to any jurisdiction that violates this responsibility to ensure the deportation of criminal aliens,” said Sessions.

“Now, the law and the American people demand that this Administration cease its acquiescence in this illegality. The Obama Administration must immediately take action to withhold significant federal law enforcement funding for these offending jurisdictions.”

Sen. Sessions notes that the Obama Administration “has emboldened” sanctuary jurisdictions with its systematic dismantling of immigration enforcement.”

In 2010, the Obama Administration said it would back down and not pursue sanctuary cities that rebuff federal immigration laws because “they are not a bad as a state that ‘actively interferes,’” reported The Washington Times. ”There is a big difference between a state or locality saying they are not going to use their resources to enforce a federal law, as so-called sanctuary cities have done, and a state passing its own immigration policy that actively interferes with federal law,” Tracy Schmaler, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., told The Washington Times. “That’s what Arizona did in this case.” This action by the Obama Administration came one week after the federal government sued the State of Arizona to overturn its new immigration law. The Times reported “that the author of the 1996 federal law that requires states and localities to cooperate with federal authorities on immigration laws thinks the administration is misreading the statute and that sanctuary cities are in violation of federal law. Drawing a distinction between those localities and Arizona, he said, is ‘flimsy justification’ for suing the state.”

Obama and his administration have aggressively pursued states and local jurisdictions that desire to assist and help enforce federal immigration laws.

In his statement, Sen. Sessions points out that Democrats in the U.S. Senate have blocked two bills that would thwart sanctuary jurisdictions. In October of 2015, just months after Kate Steinle was murdered by a criminal illegal alien that had been deported five times, Senate Democrats blocked legislation that would punish sanctuary cities, reported Breitbart News.

Senator Sessions has introduced S. 1640, titled the “Michael Davis, Jr. and Danny Oliver in Honor of State and Local Law Enforcement Act.” The Senator says it focuses on “improving interior enforcement of our immigration laws, including provisions to combat sanctuary jurisdictions.”

Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has long supported sanctuary city policies. As reported by Breitbart News, on Sept. 6, 2007 at Dartmouth College while debating in her last attempt to become president, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton endorsed sanctuary city policies saying they help ensure the “personal safety and security of all the citizens.” The article includes a video of Clinton saying, “If local law enforcement begins to act like immigration officers what that means is that you will have people not reporting crimes. You will have people hiding from the police. And I think that is a real direct threat to the personal safety and security of all the citizens. So this is a result of the failure of the federal government and that’s where it needs to be fixed.” When asked to clarify if that means she supports the sanctuary cities policy Clinton replied, “Well, I don’t think there is any choice.”

Breitbart News’ Tom Tancredo reported on July 9, 2016, “If allowing 200,000 criminal aliens to escape deportation sounds like a good idea to you, you should be wearing a Hillary for President button.” “On immigration law enforcement, instead of a ‘zero tolerance’ policy we have a zero worry policy. Instead of ‘see something, say something,’ we now have ‘see nothing, say nothing.’” He added, “This is the policy Hillary Clinton embraces, cheers and celebrates. If she becomes President Clinton, we will no longer be debating what to do about Sanctuary Cities. We will have become a Sanctuary Nation.”

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with additional information.

Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as a prosecutor and associate judge in Texas. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2.

DOJ Inspector General Memorandum

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